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What If You Receive More Than One Offer For a Job?

More than one offer – caught off guard

In a tight job market multiple offers sounds too good to be true. So, what's the problem? Choose the one that pays the most and move on. Wrong! If you don't take time to evaluate the offers you could find yourself right back in job search within a short time.
Pat began his job search two months ago with minimum responses. He had interviews, even second and third interviews, but no offers. Then, all of a sudden, within one week, two companies called and made good offers. He is taken by surprise and caught off guard.
How does he go about choosing the right one? He needs to get back to work and start paying off some bills, but he is anxious about the present economy. Which of these companies is going to survive and even thrive? He's done his research and knows the backgrounds of the companies, but there is something missing. Something he needs to do before he makes his decision.

Assessing your wants and needs
He seeks out the help of a friend who is in the recruiting business to get some advice. Together they lay out a strategy to evaluate the offers. They put together a spreadsheet with the companies names across the top. Down the left side of the page they list Pat's values and needs. Under each company's name they assign a score from one to ten for each

  1. Security - Pat has been layed off twice in the past five years, and is looking for a home with a solid company.
  2. Balance - One of Pat's top personal values is his family. In his last job he worked over 60 hours a week. He is not eager to get back into that work frenzy again.
  3. Job Satisfaction - Pat wants to feel his work means something in the bigger picture; that he is contributing and making a difference.
  4. Location - This goes hand-in-hand with balance. If he has to spend three to four hours a day commuting it will mean time spent away from his family. Telecommuting a couple of days a week may be a possibility.
  5. Salary and Benefits - Important, but not as important as the other values. He wants to be paid what he is worth, but would be willing to negotiate to get some of his other needs met.

After totaling the columns they compare the companies' total scores. The totals reveal that even though Vandaley offers more money, the risks are higher and the time away from his family will not be worth the extra dollars. Pat can see how his priorities will affect his decision and feels more confident having a tool to work with to make the best decision for him and his family.

There are always variables that cannot be predicted when accepting an offer, but using an analytical approach can make the decision more objective. Making a bad decision can result in your being miserable and feeling unfulfilled, but unable to leave because you have only been in the job for a few months. It is always best to evaluate any offer, but if there is more than one offer to choose from – it is essential!

Carole Martin is a celebrated author, trainer, and mentor. Carole can give you interviewing tips like no one else can. Try her practice interview and pick up a copy of her FREE 9-part "Interview Success Tips" report by visiting Carole on the web at The Interview Coach